Lights are up. Music fills the radio. You’re putting decorations up.
And still your heart feels heavy.
Whether your significant other is on deployment, away for TAD/TDY, or you’re away from family, it’s easily to feel alone during the holiday season. It seems like everyone else is having a great time and you’re… well, at best, a tiny piece of your heart is blue.
You don’t know what to do. After all, this is supposed to be the season of great cheer, fa la la la la, and gloria. You know how you’re supposed to feel. You’re supposed to feel happy. The world’s supposed to be tinged with magic and fairy dust.
You’re not supposed to feel this way.
And so you don’t know what to do.
Maybe you go along with all of the decorations. Or maybe they sit in plastic bins, untouched because your heart can’t bear to pull them out. Maybe you cry while you address cards to your hometown, missing family and friends who are together. Maybe you stay in bed, covers over your head, trying to ignore the whispering voice telling you to suck it up, get over it, pull up your big girl panties, while your heart breaks at the thought of the kids opening their presents without their mom or dad watching. (Maybe you adjust just fine. Maybe you push the pangs of loneliness away. Maybe you don’t need an extra hug and you’re really okay. And that’s okay, too.)
For anyone who has felt alone over the holidays, there’s no one way to process and deal. There’s no one magic pill or special song or well-worn book that can suddenly make things better.
I can offer all the tips and advice for this situation and it would ring hollow… because sometimes nothing helps. Sometimes, nothing makes that little hollow piece in your stomach feel filled up. Sometimes you just need someone to sit in your pain and loneliness with you. Sometimes you just need to know that you’re not crazy or alone.
You’re not. And if you’re dealing with being alone this Christmas, Hanukkah, or New Year, I’m thinking of you.